Queen Hortense eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 285 pages of information about Queen Hortense.
not even the money to buy the portion allowed her by law.  An exception to this rule was, however, made in favor of Josephine and Hortense; and at Madame Dumoulin’s dinners the hostess always provided white bread for them, and for them alone of all her guests.  Viscountess Beauharnais was soon, however, to be freed from this want.  One day when she had been invited by Madame Tallien to dinner, and had walked to the palace with Hortense, Tallien informed her that the government had favorably considered her petition, and was willing to make some concessions to the widow of a true patriot who had sealed his devotion to principle with his blood; that he had procured an ordinance from the administration of domains, pursuant to which the seals were at once to be removed from her furniture and other personal property, and that the republic had remitted to her, through him, an order on the treasury for her relief, until the sequestration of her landed estates should be annulled, which he expected would soon take place.

[Footnote 2:  Memoires de Monsieur de Bourrienne sur Napoleon, etc., Vol. i., p. 80.]

Josephine found no words in which to express her thanks.  She pressed her daughter to her heart and cried out, her face bathed in tears:  “We shall at last be happy!  My children shall no longer suffer want!” This time the tears Josephine shed were tears of joy, the first in long years.

Care and want were now over.  Josephine could now give her children an education suitable to their rank; she could now once more assume the position in society to which her beauty, youth, amiability, and name entitled her.  She no longer came to Madame Tallien’s parlor as a suppliant, she was now its ornament, and all were eager to do homage to the adored friend of Madame Tallien, to the beautiful and charming viscountess.  But Josephine preferred the quiet bliss of home-life in the circle of her children to the brilliant life of society; she gradually withdrew from the noisy circles of the outer world, in order that she might, in peaceful retirement, devote herself to the cultivation of the hearts and minds of her promising children.

Eugene was now a youth of sixteen years, and, as his personal security no longer required him to deny his name and rank, he had left his master’s carpenter-shop, and laid aside his blouse.  He was preparing himself for military service under the instruction of excellent teachers, whom he astonished by his zeal and rare powers of comprehension.  The military renown and heroic deeds of France filled him with enthusiasm; and one day, while speaking with his teacher of the deeds of Turenne, Eugene exclaimed with sparkling eyes and glowing countenance:  “I too will become a gallant general, some day!”

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Queen Hortense from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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